History: It is unknown when or where exactly Gravenstein apples came from but they were imported from France to Denmark in the 1600s by Count Frederik the Younger and planted at the summer residence of the Danish royal family, Gråsten Palace. As a result the variety was named Gråsten (Danish for graystone) which translates to Gravenstein in German. This apple has been popular in Canada since the 1820s, particularly in Nova Scotia, and provided the dried apples and applesauce for American soldiers during WW2. Red Gravenstein is a sport of Gravenstein with red skin instead of yellow.
Why We Grow It: With attractive red skin, this is a lovely sport of the original Gravenstein. It is a good quality and sweet early apple that is excellent for home orchards.
Canadian Hardiness Zone: 4
Soil Preference: Sandy loam, loam, clay loam. Prefers average to moist conditions, avoid planting anywhere that floods for more than two weeks in the spring. Generally quite adaptable to different soil conditions.
Growth Habits and Disease Resistance: Vigorous and hardy with a spreading growth pattern, slow to start bearing fruit but has good crops once it does. Slightly susceptible to mildew and fireblight and susceptible to scab and canker.
Sun/Shade: Full sun (approx. 8-10 hours of sun daily)
Pollination: Triploid, requires two pollinators of different non-triploid apple varieties that bloom around the same time. Not a suitable pollinator for other Gravenstein variants.
Flowering Time: Early
Ripens: Early September
Storage: Keeps until October when stored in cool, humid conditions
Recommended Use: Fresh eating, cooking
Size including roots:
- 1 year grade 100-200 cm whip
- 2 year grade 100 cm+ with 3 or more branches, 30 cm or more
- B grade less than 100 cm